Saturday, May 31, 2014

Classical Economics Dismissed

Talking about climate change in human economic terms is like talking about bicycles in terms of fish. The one has nothing to do with the other.

Economists are trained at an early age to strain at gnats and swallow camels. Environmental consequences of human activities are passed off as "externalities." "Natural resources" (note the human centered term) are free and available for usurpation and profit by individuals and their corporate persons. When resources become scarce, the "invisible hand" of the market place will bring forth substitutes that will allow The Economy to grow indefinitely.

This, of course, is bollocks.

There really are limits to human growth, and we are stretching them as thin as spider webs. Many are convinced that we have already overshot the carrying capacity of the Earth for "Homo sapiens."

The influence of human activity on natural climate variation is unknown quantitatively, but the qualitative effects of the human presence on this planet are plain for all to see. No obtuse economic justification can deny the effects of human pollution, habitat destruction and resource exploitation.

Things that can't go on forever, don't.

What do you have when you chain 1,000 economist to the ocean floor? A good start.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Climate Change Can't Be Stopped, Human Change Never Starts

I don't know what's happening these days. I thought climate change hysteria couldn't be cranked up any higher, but sure enough, looky here, this article is over the top: To Stop Climate Change, Start Calling It By a Different Name

This is nonsense. There is no global climate disruption or climate chaos,  described in the above article, other than in the minds of those who do not understand climate dynamics and have no perception of geologic time.

The climates of the earth vary through time, naturally, continually and cyclically. They have done so for millennia and will continue to vary long after Homo sapiens has left the evolutionary scene. The earth is not a closed system, and its climate varies in response to solar and cosmic influences that have driven climate since long before humans came down from the trees.

Does human activity influence natural climate variation? Certainly. Do we know how much and in what direction? Hardly at all. Is there anything we can do about observed climate variation? Not with any certainty of a positive outcome.

Meanwhile, arm-waving and Chicken Little histrionics do nothing to mitigate climate variation or make our communities more resilient in the face of a naturally varying climate.

Let's assume for the moment that "Global Warming" is caused by human CO2 production and will result in catastrophic climate change (for humans at least). What "serious action" can we take "to curb the devastating effects of climate change" within the time frame prognosticated by arm-waving Chicken Littles? Stop driving cars? Stop heating our homes with fossil fuels? Stop raising cattle for human consumption? Stop producing electricity with fossil fuels? Stop building with cement? Reduce human population levels? Stop economic growth and development? Stop maintaining standing militaries that ravage the earth?

Can you say, "Not on your life?" Sure.

It's real simple. If human produced CO2 is really causing climate change that's going to destroy human civilization, then just stop producing CO2. If it were that simple and the consequences as dire as the Chicken Littles proclaim, we would have stopped it long ago. Look what we did in response to Hitler, and he was just a mustachioed paper hanger.

Do we need to stop polluting the Earth? Do we need to stop destructive resource exploitation? Do we need to reduce human population growth? Do we need to stop species extinctions? Do we need to stop natural habitat destruction?

Damned straight!

And if we did all these necessary things, guess what? We wouldn't have to worry about climate change!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Two Worlds?

Gary Patton, in his Two Worlds blog, posted an interesting rumination about the concept of Two Worlds, the human created world, and the non-human, aka "natural" world.

 Viewing the Universe as "Two Worlds" has merit from an analytical standpoint. It puts the propensity of humans to ignore the "real" world into sharp relief.

But it's a dangerous viewpoint from the standpoint of doing something about it. Despite virtual (human created) "reality," which, of course, is not reality at all, all life is subject to the inescapable laws, restrictions and realities of the world/Universe as it is. The Universe does not distinguish between reality and the human perspective. The Universe is the All That Is. And the human world is a microscopic tic in Spacetime.

Civilization, if that's what it is, is not long for this Universe. It is already declining so severely as to be unsupportable, nay, unsustainable. Civilization is devolving into marginalized local societies, as it began, and will soon enough descend into a second, deeper Dark Age that will have insufficient energy and resources available for any semblance of recovery.

Not to worry, write it off, it was a bad deal from the start and never got any better. The Universe will be better off when Homo sapiens joins the rest of the biosphere as a contributing member of the cosmic community. That which cannot go on forever, doesn't.

"The World" is a human concept, connoting the "Human" World. The Universe is reality, whether perceived by humans or not.

One world at a time, please.